India have secured a 3-0 series win over Sri Lanka winning the last Test by a comprehensive margin of an innings and 171 runs. Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan were the stars with the bat while the Indian bowling unit was at its lethal best bowling out the hosts twice for only 135 and 181 runs.
Brief Scores: India 487 (Shikhar Dhawan 119, Hardik Pandya 108; Lakshan Sandakan 5/132, Malinda Pushpakumara 3/82) beat Sri Lanka 135 & 181/10 (Dinesh Chandimal 36, Angelo Mathews 35; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/68, Mohammed Shami 3/32) by 171 runs and an innings.
India won the toss and skipper Virat Kohli decided to bat on the grassy Pallekele wicket which had a
Sri Lanka started the day where they had left off dismissing Wriddhiman Saha early in the morning and it seemed that the Indian side would fall well short of the 400-run mark that they were eyeing. However, a sensible 51-run partnership between Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya ensured India went past the 400-run mark in their first innings. Following Yadav’s wicket, Pandya took charge of the Indian innings and snatched the game away from Sri Lanka’s reach by scoring a brilliant maiden Test century with a 26-run over being the highlight of his innings. The 23-year old’s brutal hitting powered India to a commendable total of 478. In response, the Lankan batsmen continued their dismal run in the series as the openers were back in the pavilion as early as the 9th over of the innings. The Indian spinning duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav used the turn of the pitch to their full advantage and wrapped up the Sri Lankan innings for a paltry 135. Kohli then decided to force a follow-on the hosts and it was the bowlers this time who defended the skipper’s decision by dismissing Upul Tharanga before the end of the second day to put India in a commanding position in the match with the scoreboard reading 19/1.
Mohammed Shami continued his sensational run in the series and continued to perturb the hosts with a mixture of his inswingers and outswingers at the start of the day. However, it was Ashwin who found a wicket in his first over for the day when he sent Dimuth Karunaratne packing for 16. Shami, then beautifully set up Malinda Pushpakumara forcing him to edge one to Saha before dismissing Kusal Mendis. The incoming Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews were burdened with the responsibility of offering some resistance. The experienced pair took their time and it looked as if the match might go into the fourth day if they continued to bat. However, Chandimal flicked a Kuldeep Yadav delivery into the hands of Cheteshwar Pujara breaking a 65-run partnership between him and Mathews. Mathews soon perished by Ashwin and was followed by Dilruwan Perera while Niroshan Dickwella continued to stand in the way of India’s final win of the series. However, a brilliant catch by Ajinkya Rahane sent Dickwella packing as the hosts bowled out for 181 runs in the second innings and handed over a huge win for India.
Shoaib Malik or Johnson Charles? Who will score more runs?
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